New books made around the world, using the Book Dash model
"Every child should own a hundred books by the age of five"

What do Lebanon, the North West province in South Africa, and the US have in common? They are three (of many) geographies around the world where local organisations have successfully used the open Book Dash model to run their own creative bookmaking events.


Over the years the Book Dash team has been documenting how to run our events in the open-access Book Dash Manual, because we know that organisations need children's books that reflect the contexts and everyday life of the children that they serve, and this can look vastly different depending on where you work. 


In this newsletter, we're looking at three very different examples.

People on Paper - Lebanon

The covers of the four books created at the "People on Paper" bookmaking event in Lebanon in 2021.

In 2021, a South-African now living in Lebanon, identified a need for children's books that are representative of the lived experiences of Palestinian refugee children who live in camps in Lebanon.


To fill the void, she used the Book Dash Manual to plan and run a creative bookmaking event inspired by Book Dash. The event was meticulously planned, with the Book Dash team answering questions and providing support through several video calls. The result was an event, held in Beirut, called People on Paper where four brand-new open-sourced books were created by Lebanese creative volunteers. Funding was in place to translate the books into Arabic, and to print thousands of copies to give away to the children.

"Book Bolt" at the University of the North West

A few of the story spreads from the books created at Book Bolt in 2018 (credit: NW University).

In 2018, the Design department at the NW University created an experiential learning project based on the Book Dash model.


The lecturers made several adaptations to our model to change it into a pedagogical tool, and to make sure that their third-year students (enrolled for illustration or design) would be able to complete the project successfully. Some of the adaptations were to increase the time available to make the books from 12 to 24 hours, to assign two illustrators to a book, and to provide ready-made stories (so no writers attended the event). The number of pages was also reduced from 12 story spreads to 8.


The Book Bolt was a fast-paced and intense period of 24 hours, with the end result being 6 beautifully illustrated and designed children's books. The project provided an interesting learning experience for both the students and the lecturers: "the learning that took place significantly exceeded our expectation." (Chan & Heenop, 2018).

Room to Read's Peace and Equality Book Collection

Inspired by Book Dash's fast-paced, collaborative book creation model, the Peace and Equality Book Collection from the US-based Literacy NGO Room to Read brought together diverse writers and illustrators from across the United States to create 10 books in just four weeks. The books, aimed at children aged 3-8, explore themes related to creating a more peaceful and just world, with the goal of recognizing the work we must continue to do as a society to create social, political, economic, and cultural systems grounded in peace and equality.


A video about the process can be seen here:

Book Dash
For more updates on Book Dash's work, follow us on social media.
facebook  twitter  linkedin  youtube  instagram 
Modify your subscription   |   View online